Agreement Seeks to Develop Next Generation of STEM Innovators through Global Collaboration
Today, Morgan State University (MSU) and the New York Academy of Sciences (the Academy) signed a partnership agreement to develop the next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) innovators through the Global STEM Alliance (GSA) of the New York Academy of Sciences. The agreement, signed at the site of Morgan’s Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL) in St. Leonard, MD, combines the diverse vitality of MSU with the global presence of the Academy.
As Maryland’s premier, public urban, research university, Morgan brings a unique perspective on STEM to this partnership (e.g. its School of Education and Urban Studies was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to explore innovative ways to teach STEM in urban environments). Through its vast network of partners, the Academy will help to scale MSU’s research efforts to the global community. Finally, this partnership opens the door for collaboration on joint proposals in the area of STEM education, both domestically and internationally.
“We are thrilled to welcome Morgan State University to the Global STEM Alliance of the New York Academy of Sciences,” says TC Westcott, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. “Our partnership with MSU represents the GSA’s first official partnership with a historically black college. We know that together, we will reach more students in need of STEM resources and opportunities, assuring the next the generation of STEM innovators.”
This partnership comes at a time when countries around the world are experiencing a well-documented shortage of STEM professionals, even though the number of STEM graduates increases every year. The New York Academy of Sciences has found that this disparity is due to a few key factors that, left unchecked, will continue into the next generation. These factors include a shortage of graduates with the soft skills employers are looking for (leadership, communication, cross-cultural competency, etc.), a lack of qualified technicians, a loss of high-skilled workers from developing countries, and untapped pools of talent – namely women and people from minority backgrounds – all leading to what the Academy has termed the “global STEM paradox.” (Read the Academy’s white paper for more information.)
Individual countries cannot solve the STEM paradox in isolation, which is why the Academy decided to launch the GSA, an unprecedented initiative of more than 70 governments, corporations, educational institutions, philanthropists, and nongovernmental organizations in more than 50 countries and regions working together to create a strong STEM ecosystem. By changing and updating government policies, business incentives, and cultural attitudes, the GSA can create the necessary circumstances for students to seek, acquire, and employ the STEM skills that align with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
“We look forward to being part of the GSA and partners with the Academy. This opens doors for collaborative research initiatives for our faculty and students,” said Dr. Victor McCrary, vice president for research and economic development for Morgan State University.
The GSA works by leveraging the Academy’s successful on-the-ground STEM education programs through virtual learning and mentorship. The GSA will increase STEM literacy across the school-aged population, reduce the skills gap between schools and the workforce, and increase workforce diversity. Morgan brings its expertise in STEM education, as evidenced by its recent $23M award from the National Institutes of Health to create a pipeline of underrepresented minorities who will eventually obtain doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences and go on to conduct basic research in this area.
About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy’s core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.
About Morgan State University
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie classified doctoral research institution offering more than 60 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees as well as programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s public urban university, Morgan serves a multi-ethnic and multi-racial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information on Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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Dr. Victor R. McCrary